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It is recognised worldwide that health care is a complex process, has associated risks and that patients may become harmed when receiving care intended to help them. 

Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora - Southern is committed to providing safe and quality care by putting the patient at the centre of everything we do. Whilst we acknowledge that adverse events can take place within our facilities we are always looking at new strategies to prevent them.

What is a serious adverse event?

Serious adverse events are events which have resulted in serious harm to patients.  This harm may have led to significant additional treatment, have been life threatening or led to a major loss of function or unexpected death.  

Every year, Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora - Southern provides a report on adverse events that have occurred so we can learn from these events. See past reports here.  

Learning from serious adverse events to promote patient safety and prevent harm

All serious adverse events are investigated to try to determine the major cause, or causes, that led to the event. When these causes are known, interventions are recommended to try to prevent the recurrence of the same or similar adverse event in the future. The aim is therefore to enhance patient safety by learning from adverse events and near misses that occur.

We report these events to the Health Quality and Safety Commission and every year they release a national report that summarises these events. In conjunction with this report each locality provides a report on their own events with recommendations to make improvements to the care provided and the progress on these.  

For more information, visit the Health Quality & Safety Commission website